From the Office of State Senator Rodney Ellis

For Immediate Release
June 1, 2000
Contact: Jeremy Warren, (512) 463-0113

Senator Ellis Grants 30-Day Stay of Execution for Ricky McGinn
Statement of Senator Rodney Ellis

"Taking a life is the State of Texas' ultimate power, and it is a responsibility that must be undertaken with the greatest level of diligence and care. As Acting Governor, I feel a special responsibility to ensure that the State of Texas makes every effort to see that justice is served before exercising that power. To that end, I have ordered a 30-day reprieve for Ricky Nolan McGinn and urge the courts to permit new DNA testing in the case.

"While I am reluctant to second guess the verdict of a Texas jury and our courts, we must be willing to take every step possible to ensure that justice is done. I believe post-conviction DNA testing, when it can positively prove guilt or innocence in the context of all the evidence, should be utilized whenever possible.

"Throughout this process, I have been in close contact with the Governor's office and we agree that a reprieve is necessary in this case.

"I sincerely believe in the principle of swift and sure punishment, but our paramount concern must always be to ensure that justice is done. In my view, it is in the best interest of justice to delay Mr. McGinn's execution and permit new DNA testing. I believe this action is necessary to ensure all Texans can continue to trust the integrity and fairness of our criminal justice system."